Updated: February 15, 2017
To SuRun or not to SuRun, William 'Bill' Shakespeare once wrote. And he was right. Back in the XP days, running a limited account on Windows was not as trivial and easy as you might have hoped. But then, SuRun came along, bringing the sudo mechanism into the Microsoft arena, and boy was it glorious.
Fast forward to Windows 7, I gave this fine little program its due test and review several months ago, and again, it proved to be elegant, simple and useful. However, it wasn't that necessary, given the significant improvements in the standard user mechanism and the way privilege elevation is done in Windows nowadays. It didn't make a big difference, but it sure did not hurt. So what happens when you try the same on Windows 10?
I will show you how to setup SuRun on Windows 10, and then we will use it side by side with the default Run as Administrator option, which has been the accepted method to gain necessary privileges to perform installs and touch system files. The one big difference compared to Windows 7, the user management facility has changed. Windows 10 no longer uses the lusrmgr.msc applet, and you will need a combination of User Account options in the Settings menu and some command line tweaks to enable the Administrator account and lower the privileges of your own account. We did this for Windows 7, and we will do it again here.
As far as screenshots go, SuRun grabs the desktop focus, so you can't really take any, but if you do have a tool that can run in the background and take timed images, then you can try to capture the activity. Which is what I did - and failed, so you won't get any. This is a real physical system, not a virtual machine. Apologies.
It was quick and simple. Let it install, log off, log back in. The SuRun settings menu is accessible through the Control Panel. Please make sure you add yourself to the SuRunners group, enable the Administrator account and only then lower the privileges of your own, so you avoid deadlocks. Not a biggie, but some people might not like the hassle of trying to recover from this situation.
Once this step was complete, I started playing and tweaking. Both Windows prompts and SuRun prompts worked fine and gave me what I needed, without any errors or bugs. I was also able to complete Windows updates without any need to elevate my user rights. It was a big, hefty update, but it completed smoothly.
Some applications did not have the SuRun option in their context menu, while other did. This might be by design. All in all, I encountered no issues, I was able to update the system, upgrade VLC and Firefox, and install a handful of desktop applications. SuRun delivered, and it gave me the sudo-like behavior as I expected. True, the effect is diminished compared to Windows XP, but it still did quite well.
Much like Windows 7, Windows 10 does not really need SuRun. But if you want to use this program as an alternative to the built-in privilege elevation mechanism, then you can, and it will do its job quite well. Again, there are always risks with third-party software, but my testing shows SuRun to be perfectly safe and adequate. We're talking years of testing and multiple operating system versions. Still, you need to decide what your acceptable level of tampering is when it comes to managing Windows.
Overall, SuRun is definitely one of the more sensible security solutions. It lets you run your estate hassle-free, with a much reduced vector of exposure than you would if you use the administrator account, including your own. It integrates well into the system, it does not toll any great resources, and I was able to perform software and system updates with ease. Most warmly recommended, so I suggest you take it for a spin and see what gives. You won't be disappointed.